The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that specific topics be covered in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting. The IEP team consists of general education teachers, special education teachers, a psychologist or counselor, administrators, parents/guardians, speech therapist, occupational therapist, and on occasion, the student and student advocate. Typically, a special education teacher serves as the case manager and is responsible for inviting attendees to the meeting and coordinating the meeting according to policies and regulations. Effective communication, interpersonal skills, problem solving skills, and data-driven decision-making are all prerequisites to facilitating a successful IEP meeting. Often, a school district will provide a checklist for teams to follow when developing and discussing the IEP to help ensure all responsibilities are met.
View “FIEP: A Facilitated IEP Meeting,” paying special attention to the structure and collaborative nature of the meeting, the specific components of the IEP, and ways that the meeting demonstrates adherence to laws and ethical principles that govern special education. Note when viewing this example meeting that the administrator is the facilitator rather than the special education teacher, who would typically lead the meeting.
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In a 1,000-1,250 words, articulate your knowledge of IDEA and the IEP process. This should address the following:
Support with a minimum of three scholarly resources.
The IDEA is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act which was passed to give children with disabilities the opportunity to have an education. “Students served by IDEA are distributed among 13 disability categories” (). These students that have any of the 13 disabilities are to be given the same type of educational opportunities as those without. There are numerous laws that have been passed in order to make this happen, so the students are not discriminated. Along with that, there are protocols and different methods that are put in place in order to determine the severity of the student’s disability.
That being said, they have to determine if the student’s disability is going to require special education classes. This is where the IEP (Individualized Education Program) comes into play for these students that need it. The more that is learned about the student and their progress the more it helps their teachers know how to proceed with their learning plans and so forth.
For those students who have an IEP, there is a separate protocol that goes into place that involves the principal, special education teacher, parents and sometimes the general teacher, depending on the circumstance. This is just one of the many things that came out of the IDEA. The goal is for all students, regardless of a disability or not to have different resources and opportunities to get the highest level of education they can. Over time more laws got put into place as teachers, educators and other staff got more familiar with these types of students who have these disabilities.
In IEP there is one focus, and that is to help the child overcome whatever the issue that is being presented. All parties involved in the process are there to give input and to help set goals for the child and make a plan that makes it possible for the child to reach those goals. The people involved in the IEP team are the principal, special education teacher, parents and depending on the student and the situation, the general education teacher. Having the student be a part of the meeting is optional, it just depends on what they think is best. It’s important that when the process begins that everybody is coming in open minded and are willing to collaborate with one another.
The IEP agenda is broken down for everyone, so they all know what is going to be covered and can be prepared for each of the areas that are going to be discussed. They will go over the problem that the student of focus is having in the classroom. With each area that is being discussed, everyone in the room will get an opportunity to discuss their point of view an opinion on the matter. An important area covered in the IEP meeting is, “annual goals for the child, meaning what parents and the school team think he or she can reasonably accomplish in a year” (The Short-and-Sweet IEP Overview, 2017). This shows that the IEP meeting isn’t just to focus on the right now, but the long-term solution as well.
Before a child can even be considered for an IEP, they must meet the requirement of the IDEA. Which means, they must fall under the category of autism, deaf-blindness, deafness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, intellectual disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury or visual impairment. From there, a plan or program is created in order to help the student overcome the issue that is being caused to disrupt their learning.
This plan is created by the IEP team in a meeting. In the meeting they will discuss the child’s current state, which can include test scores, grades and observations of them in the classroom. They will discuss on if the child is going to need to have extra help during class time. They will go over goals that can help measure the child’s progress over the year. At the end of the meeting a signature from each person who is present is required for the IEP to go into effect. From there, a follow-up meeting will take place the following year.
All bases need to be covered before, after and during the IEP to ensure that all of the options are being offered to the child that is in focus. The more everyone corporates the easier it will be to get the IEP plan official and into effect for the student. The main focus is that child and the meetings are designed to help that child. With that being said, everyone needs to do their part.
“By law, the IEP must include certain information about the child and the educational program designed to meet his or her unique needs” (A Guide to the Individualized Education Program, ND). Current performance is one of the requirements which basically means how the child is doing. There are tests, observations and other evaluations that are given to determine whether or not the child is eligible. Annual goals are created for the child that they are wanting them to meet over the course of the next year. The special education services that are offered or the child is requiring must be listed on the actual IEP. It must be noted and on paper if the child is going to be interacting with other children who do not have a disability. Depending on the state depends on if it needs to be listed that the student can or cannot take a state test with or without alterations.
IEP must have exact dates of when it will begin, if and when needed the services will be provided for the student. A transition period or time frame is required on the IEP as well. The progress of the student must be recorded on the IEP and the parents have to be kept up to date with the progress of their child. The IEP is created specifically for the child with the disability and is to be altered in any way that is beneficial for the child. The information of the IEP must be kept in a secure place that cannot be accessed by outsiders.
Even though we learn about IEPs, the purpose, how to go about them and everything I think as a new teacher participating in one is still going to be a bit nerve wrecking. In the video, the one thing that stood out to me the most was how the staff made the mother feel comfortable while they were still being 100% professional.
This was a big thing because as a parent, you don’t want there to be an issue with your child no matter how big or small it could be. Feeling comfortable will make it easier to discuss and help create a plan to help your child overcome this issue. That isn’t something that is taught reading about IEPs and I definitely think that it is something I will strive to do if I ever have to participate in an IEP.
Guide to the Individualized Education Program. (2019, August 30). Retrieved July 13, 2020, from https://www2.ed.gov/parents/needs/speced/iepguide/index.html
Mastropieri, M. A., & Scruggs, T. E. (2018). The inclusive classroom strategies for effective differentiated instruction (6th ed.). NY, NY: Pearson.
The Short-and-Sweet IEP Overview. (2017, August 01). Retrieved July 13, 2020, from https://www.parentcenterhub.org/iep-overview/
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